Dec 11, 2023 | Blogs, Resources

Cloud Pricing: Is Your Cloud Service Provider Hampering Growth with Hidden Fees and Confusing Price Structures?

By Greg Chappell, Vice President Global Sales and Partner Success at Think On, Inc.

The phone rings and it’s your best customer. They’ve just received their cloud computing bill and they sound agitated. As you spend an hour trying to explain the many hidden fees charged by their cloud service provider—from ingress and egress fees to cloud applications the customer didn’t know they had and probably doesn’t need—you become as disheartened as your customer.

As a cloud services partner, you want to make your customer happy, but they’re locked into a contract with a cloud provider that doesn’t have the respect for customer needs that you do. They force data migrations on your customer and charge exorbitant fees to move their data to faster or more secure locations. Not only does this make your customer angry, it eats your time and patience, and erodes the opportunity to discuss cloud services that your customer could use to accelerate their business—and grow your own.

Is your cloud service provider a fair-weather friend?

Cloud service providers plays a crucial role in helping you grow your business—or arresting your profits. While some providers think their relationship with you stops after the initial sale, this is not the ThinkOn way. We know that while technology is important, it’s not the whole story in cloud services.

As a partner, you have the right to expect your cloud provider to service your customers with pricing policies the customer can understand and 24/7 support services—so you can focus on growth and leave the cumbersome job of constant troubleshooting to your competitors.

At ThinkOn, we make a commitment to streamline the customer/partner relationship with simple and transparent pricing while supporting your sales and support efforts with our proven and effective customer service.

We provide Tier 1, 2, and 3 support, available 24/7. And unlike some cloud service providers, you don’t have to pay extra every time a customer needs support. We focus on your customers’ needs right now, so you can set your sights on the future.

Partner growth: the 10 to 20 percent reality with most cloud service providers

ThinkOn provides transparent pricing for cloud services with no ingress, egress, or unpredictable transactional fees. That sounds impressive, but what does it mean for your business?

Egress or transactional fees can cost your customer hundreds or even thousands of dollars per month, depending on how many times they move their data from a hyperscale cloud to their on-premises storage.

The typical hyperscale cloud customer incurs 10–20 percent in unpredictable variable costs per month[1], and that can eat right into your revenue growth by devouring the customer’s budget for cloud services.

According to Travis Greene on the Forbes Technology Council, it is estimated that approximately 30 percent of cloud spend is wasted, and cloud overspending is an accelerating concern. He wonders, “How can organizations uncover the sources of cloud overspending and optimize it for the biggest business advantage?”[2]

Hidden fees are a growing contributor to this problem. The frightening reality is that hyperscale cloud service providers charge between 5 and 20 cents per gigabyte every time you move your data from their cloud to your on-premises storage, making it prohibitively expensive to move data. Hyperscalers also charge additional fees to move data to new geographical locations when your customer wants to accelerate speeds for local users.

Consistency + happy customers = revenue growth

When a customer opens their cloud bill, it should look familiar to them. The terms and terminology should match what they agreed to when they signed their contract. Otherwise, how do they know what they are being charged for and why?

Billing discrepancies are all too common with the hyperscalers, and it causes grief for customer and partner alike. It creates nasty surprises and sparks anger, even bewilderment, as the customer tries to reconcile their cloud bill with the charges they agreed to.

They’re all left wondering, have escalating cloud services and automated applications caused the additional charges, or was it forced data migration between data center locations that caused this budget explosion? What are the terms the customer agreed to in the first place, and why does everything have a different term for the charges than the fees stated in the contract?

At ThinkOn, pricing is consistent. When customers choose to use more cloud services because their business is growing, they can clearly see how their services have accelerated and how the charges have been calculated.

Consistency in pricing means no surprises. Customers are happy to use more services because they aren’t afraid of hidden costs—the charges will be detailed and clear to understand, everything is as expected, and everyone wins. As a partner, your revenue will grow as your customer grows—and you don’t get any more anguished phone calls from your customers.

Cloud forecast: clear, with a promise of growth

A digital solution that eats your customer’s budget is a drain on your resources—and a prime barrier to growing your business. Unexpected costs, and contracts that lock your customer into a pricing structure that drains resources while providing little customer support, are the nightmare of any digital partner.

At ThinkOn, we know that you want to be out there selling, and your customers want to be supporting the businesses they serve. No one wants to spend time getting into conversations about why pricing has changed, or why the charges are different this month over last month.

Simple and predictable pricing makes it easy for you and your customers to explain why pricing has gone up or down. At ThinkOn, it’s straightforward: the cloud bill changes as the customer adds or removes resources. It’s that simple.

We provide the exact date, the exact time, and who made the requests, so there’s no hunting down the answers or explaining unexpected charges—it’s all about the most important thing of all: growing your business.


[1] Flexera. Cloud Computing Trends: 2021 State of the Cloud Report. https://www.flexera.com/blog/cloud/cloud-computing-trends-2021-state-of-the-cloud-report/

[2] Forbes. Travis Greene. 2023. https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbestechcouncil/2023/01/19/the-hidden-costs-of-cloud-and-where-to-find-overspending/

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